By LOU WILIN
A 26-year-old Toledo woman, Tiesha McQuin, was the female passenger killed with a Grob Systems executive in an airplane crash early Sunday about two miles north of Findlay, family members of McQuin said Tuesday.
Tiesha McQuin was riding in the plane piloted by Ralf Bronnenmeier, chief executive officer of Grob Systems in Bluffton. Bronnenmeier, 47, also was killed when the plane crashed about 1:11 a.m. Sunday on Hancock County 18 between Cass Township 215 and Hancock County 216.
“Tiesha loved airplanes. So it didn’t even surprise me that she was on an airplane,” said her sister, Tomecia McQuin of Toledo. “She loved planes.”
Tomecia McQuin described her sister as someone who “always had a smile on her face. … She’s always happy.”
“She just loves life,” Tomecia said. “She is a very spontaneous person.”
Tiesha McQuin is survived by a 3-year-old daughter, Mahkayla Sims, “whom she cherished, she loved,” her sister said.
Bronnenmeier was not married and did not have children, according to his obituary.
A report on the cause of the crash will not be completed for about a year, which is standard practice, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson said.
Bronnenmeier had a rough plane ride about 18 months ago when a window of his plane blew out during a flight from Florida to Bluffton, said Tony Iriti, Hancock County Alliance economic development director.
The cabin lost pressure and some of Bronnenmeier’s personal items blew out the window, including the German native’s wallet, driver’s license and green card.
“So when he got back to Findlay, he had to get a new driver’s license and they wouldn’t give it to him without his green card,” Iriti said. “So he called me to ask if we could help him in any way.”
Iriti contacted U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta to intervene for Bronnenmeier and get him a driver’s license.
A day or two later, Bronnenmeier called to happily report his driver’s license had been returned to him through the U.S. mail.
“It apparently dropped into some lady’s backyard in South Carolina, and she saw the driver’s license, put it in an envelope, sent it back to him,” Iriti said.
“It was a close call back then,” Iriti said of that plane mishap.
“He really was such a good guy, and as (chief executive officer) for Grob did a tremendous job. His employees loved him,” Iriti said.
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